Volitans Software

Supported External Drives: Two Suggestions

For those of you looking for suggestions for enclosures or other methods of reading SMART off of drives, this post is for you. I wanted to share a couple of enclosures and a cool “connector” that support reading SMART data.

First, for buying an exclosure to put a drive in or one with a drive, I highly recommend the Mercury Elite Pro enclosures from Other World Computing. I’ve been a customer of OWC for over a decade, and they always have quality products and they stand by them. The Mercuries come in both 2.5 and 3.5 inch sizes. I bought two of the 2.5 inch sizes for SuperDuper clones of my laptop, and I rotate them weekly offsite. I bought a 3.5 inch size for a HD out of a computer I was retiring, since it was 3TB. It serves as a Time Machine backup of my Mac Mini server. The 2.5 inch ones support eSATA, FW800, and USB, while the 3.5 inch size supports just FW800 and USB. Both sizes support reading SMART data over FireWire (I didn’t try USB), but not eSATA for the small size.

Second, a very interesting connection is the StarTech HD Docking Station. This handy station is great for testing HDs or using them quickly. It connects via USB, and supports reading SMART data. It supports both 2.5 and 3.5 inch drive sizes. I find it very handy for checking the myriad of HDs I’ve collected over the years, and also for testing out SMART Utility with different types of bad drives.

I hope that helps, and if anybody else has any more suggestions, I’d love to hear them! My plan is to add a page to list supported enclosures and docking stations, and maybe even add a way within SMART Utility to easily notify me.